NaPoWriMo Day 7, Life Sustains Life

And sometimes you can be inspired to write a piece with an entirely different philosophy. “Life Sustains Life” is a haibun written after reading Mary Oliver’s “The Fish.”



Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Life Sustains Life

The first fish I ever caught hung by a hook in my hand flailing as my brother took a picture, his little sister, tears coursing down her cheeks, murmuring, “We can’t kill it.” “But it will make fine eating.”


We didn’t eat the drowning bass but released it in a deeper portion of a stream near our cabin, where it probably fed a raccoon or a bear, a creature whose need and desire were greater.


Years later, in the instant when I understood life leaving the squirrel’s eyes, glazed, death seeping through, I understood my path; for every decision, even eating demands thoughtfulness. Not a mystery, not a continuation of death sustaining life, but life sustaining life, not asceticism, but grace, joy, a religion of its own.


The drowning bass twists
Its scales sparkle emerald jewels.
Summer memory past.

Sascha Darlington

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2 replies »

  1. Wow, this lays heavy on my heart. Eating demands thoughtfulness—I wish! Most are thoughtless in eating, otherwise not a single animal would land in our tummies.

    Liked by 1 person

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